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Segmentation Two Ways - Guest Blog by Annie Cooley

by Administrator Administrator on ‎02-04-2011 12:05 PM

Segmentation Two Ways

by Annie Cooley


Segmentation comes up in many email marketing articles, but there are still big questions surrounding it. What does segmentation really mean? When is it most effective and what elements should focus on when segmenting your list? How do I start?

If you want your email marketing efforts to be successful, segmentation is a must. With an overwhelming number or emails reaching people’s inboxes daily, you have to find a way to reach your subscribers in an engaging way.


The two most common methods for segmentation are Customer Profiling and Customer Life Stage.


Through customer profiling you can break up your database depending on these factors:


  • Subscribers that have clicked on something within your emails. Or even on simpler level those who open your emails. For those that have not opened your email, you can determine a better marketing medium to follow up with until you gain their trust
  • New subscribers vs. loyal subscribers
  • Prospects vs. customers
  • Geography
  • Gender
  • Industry

As you segment, draw your lines based on the key drivers for your business. Don’t merely choose gender if that has no significance in the buying behaviors of your customers. Ask yourself what sort of segmentation will bring about the greatest results for your business.


With Life Stage segmentation you can focus on these factors:


  • Purchases
  • Product upgrades
  • Downloads – products, white papers, industry reports
  • Anniversary announcements – for your company, for your customers with you
  • Competitor comparisons
  • Product renewals
  • Birthdays
  • Event Invites
  • Post-event follow up – attendees, non-attendees
  • Free trial follow up
  • Non-activity

The Life Stage type of segmentation is different from customer profiling in that it allows you to go beyond the basic level of email communication and introduce shorter-term conversations. You can build campaigns to build hype around a specific product or announcement. You can also move people in and out these campaigns as they act upon your call to actions. For example, If you have a promotion email, you can transfer people in and out as they take you up on your offer. You can do this automatically with services such as Swiftpage Drip Marketing.

For the most effective email relationship, you need to utilize both segmentation methods – Customer profiling for your long term email communications, such as your monthly newsletter and Life Stage for your announcements and promotions that help increase their interactions with your email campaigns. 

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